Disinfection and Sterilization

Disinfection and sterilization are two terms that are often confused by people because on the surface they would appear to mean the same thing. However, there is a very clear difference between disinfection and sterilization. Properly disinfecting a surface means that it has been thoroughly cleaned of visible dirt, removing any remaining bacteria with a disinfectant, and then sterilizing certain items that come in contact with the mouth or have a high probability of being contaminated. Sterilizing a medical item means completely destroying all of the microorganisms so that no harmful bacteria remain on the device.

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Disinfectants and sterilization are widely used in our daily life. One way of infection control in a public place is to use disinfectants and sterilize. This is a very useful method in hospitals, clinics, school shelters. These tools are important to protect public health. Different disinfectants are used for a different types of medical supplies.

Disinfection is the reduction of microbial populations to slow or stop their growth and to minimize or eliminate their harmful effects on humans, animals, and plants causing disease. Sterilization is the process that eliminates all forms of life by using chemicals such as heat, radiation, and/or steam under pressure.

Sterilization destroys all microorganisms on a surface. Disinfectants and antiseptics can be used either to prevent or to cure an infection. If the disinfectant is applied to living tissue, such as during surgery, it is called a “counter-surgical disinfectant.”

Sterilization of medical instruments is an aspect of infection prevention. It specifically refers to the process of destroying all microbial life on the surfaces of items that will directly or indirectly come into contact with patients. Although it may be cost-prohibitive for some small medical practices, sterilization is still the most effective way to kill bacteria while maintaining equipment longevity.


Sterilization is an excellent method of preservation. The use of sterilization methods has been widespread for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.

In the Western World, sterilization methods have historically been applied to surgical instruments and medical equipment. Today, however, sterilization methods are being widely used on instruments that come into human contact for a variety of uses, such as dentistry.

There are a number of sterilization methods that have been developed over the years, from the steam autoclave to today’s modern electron beam.

Sterilization methods are available in both liquid and powder. Liquid sterilization methods are used to induce the destruction of bacteria, viruses, and fungi (anything capable of reproducing) in products that have been used. Powdered sterilization methods are used to prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, or viruses in equipment that is not being used or products that cannot be sterilized by heat.

Sterilization methods can involve lethal radiation, electron beams, boiling water, steam under pressure, UV radiation, or chemicals. Of these methods are particularly appropriate for manual or mechanical handling of medical devices.

Sterilization methods can be broadly divided into non-selective sterilization and selective sterilization. Non-selective methods kill all living organisms present within a material or a device and is generally a lengthy process as selectivity is sacrificed. Selective methods kill specific organisms with some tolerance for those not susceptible to the treatment applied. The more complex this selectivity becomes, the more difficult it is to achieve complete sterility. In non-selective sterilization processes, chemicals such as formaldehyde or hydrogen peroxide are used as antiseptics to reduce contamination.

Four methods of sterilization are used. Although the method varies by institution and by a clinician, these four methods are most often used in the US. They are single-use autoclave systems, which use steam; radiant heaters; moist heat with or without chemicals (disinfectants); and dry heat (toaster ovens).

The microwave method of sterilization is based on the controlled application of microwave radiation to destroy all living microorganisms without thermal destruction. Microwaves penetrate deep into the material and cause localized water molecule movements. This local boiling effect disrupts the cell wall and cytoplasm, ultimately affecting DNA replication and RNA transcription, producing lethal lesions.

All kinds of medical waste materials can be effectively sterilized by microwave irradiation regardless of their shape or form, such as syringe needles, trocars, plastics, glassware, rubber tubes and bottles, metal needles, and chemical containers. The salted boiling water treatment can also effectively kill all kinds

The most common method is sterilization of medical instruments by autoclave. Such methods are used to destroy all forms of life, including endospores, viruses, and prions.

Autoclaving is used both by hospitals and clinics to sterilize medical instruments, coins, stamps, jewelry and other similar items. Although this type of sterilization is not recommended for clothes or other fabrics, it can be effective nonetheless if the clothes are washed before being placed in the clothes dryer.

The Low-Pressure Vessel (LVP or autoclave) is used for sterilization up to 121  °C. Compared to the High-Pressure Vessel (HVP), which particularly reaches its best efficiency at 115  °C, the LVP demonstrates its best-sterilizing effectiveness at 130  °C. Within the LVP range of 121-130  °C, processes such as autoclaving, dry heat sterilization, and steam sterilization can be carried out. These processes are suitable for just about all types of non-electrical medical devices where sterility assurance is required: surgical instruments and equipment, catheters and tubing sets, dressing materials.

Unlike freeze-drying, which can take more than 24 hours, high-pressure processing (HPP) eliminates pathogens in fruit juices, packaged soups, seafood, vegetables, and other foods in less than two minutes. HPP is used around the world to maintain food safety standards for over 1 billion consumers who consume up to 35 billion servings of safe food each year.

All sterilization methods are valuable, but the following are recommended by veterinarians. Boiling — Water is brought to a rapid boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Heating pads can be used with pouches of water, if necessary.

Eco-Friendly Autoclave Sterilization is used today. In this case, Pathogens are killed without heat. No chemicals, radiation, or harsh light required: the UV-C light is completely safe for operators and patients and is harmless to equipment and instruments. The steam-based method kills off all kinds of microbes in less than 5 minutes.

Aseptic processing is a method of sterilizing food and beverage products that eliminates the need for preservatives, ensuring your product will taste as delicious as fresh-squeezed juice.

The countertop microwave sterilizer is an easy-to-use device for sanitizing baby bottles, pacifiers, breast pump parts, and much more, allowing you to avoid the dangers of bleach.

The stainless steel electric kettle enables you to sterilize utensils, bottles nipples, dummies, toys, and teats. It is also great for heating baby food or making yogurt. In this case, a safety cap can be used to secure the lid when storing or traveling. The kettle has a removable inner bowl for easy cleaning.

All sterilizers work in similar ways to kill bacteria in the water; you can choose whichever one sounds best to you. Hydrogen peroxide is the ideal choice for water with little chlorine (such as fresh tap water). It is also useful in containers like baby bottles, where you want to make sure the water is free of germs but not excessively chlorinated. Chlorine dioxide is used when you need to treat large amounts of water or when very harsh chemicals are needed, such as in hospitals.

Tubing systems are used for sterile water, media, and sample transport. Sterile, flexible polyolefin tubing is extruded from high-quality materials used in all medical applications that require a positive internal lumen finish.


Disinfection is the process of destruction of pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms, along with their toxins.

Disinfection is the process of destroying pathogens with chemical agents. The term disinfectant refers to a substance that can be used to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, as opposed to antiseptic, which refers only to substances that inhibit their growth. Disinfectants are also different from biocides which are intended to destroy all forms of life, while the disinfectants are typically designed to affect only microorganisms.”

Disinfectants are generally distinguished from other types of antimicrobial agents by their mode of action. Disinfectants destroy microorganisms on non-living surfaces. Other types of antimicrobial agents such as antiseptics and antibiotics are used against microorganisms within living tissues. They may be used on humans, animals, and plants. Disinfectants are different from other antimicrobial compounds in that they are designed to kill living organisms quickly and easily without damaging human tissue.

Eliminate germs and bacteria in your kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces by using disinfectants. There is a variety of disinfectants that help to control pests and diseases. It’s easy to use; just spray the disinfectant on surfaces that are difficult to reach.

Chemical disinfection is the approved method for killing pathogens, viruses, and bacteria in residential pools, spas, hot tubs, and saunas.

Health-care workers and public health officials worldwide consider both heat and UV light to be effective methods of disinfection for certain devices (e.g., water purification tablets and HIV/hepatitis B prevention syringes). Low-cost, portable systems that use heat and UV light are now being developed by nongovernmental organizations for use in resource-poor regions of the world.

Disinfecting Wipes are designed to kill virtually all bacteria, viruses, germs, mold, allergens, and other harmful organisms that may be present on the skin. These wipes are strong enough for use on large areas of skin or textiles that are easily irritated by scratching or abrasive chemicals.

Two methods of disinfection are wetting the surface with a chemical sanitizer and treating the surface with ultraviolet light.

Aeration Disinfection is a powerful disinfecting process that attracts and kills harmful microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and algae by provoking the formation of free radicals.

In the market, there are lots of disinfectants. Among them, the best is a 10 oz. font of OdoBan® disinfectant cleaner. OdoBan® is EPA registered to eliminate odor-causing mold and mildew from showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, and many other hard nonporous surfaces. This powerful disinfectant also kills 99.9% of bacteria including the influenza virus and HIV-1 (the AIDS virus) on hard, nonporous surfaces.

Disinfecting cleaners kill a wide range of microbes and bacteria without the risk of damaging surfaces. The antimicrobial action of these cleaners is specifically developed to be long-lasting. These disinfectants are developed to attack a wide range of germs, helping prevent the spread of flu and other infectious diseases, as well as control sickness bugs such as Fusarium and Cryptosporidium. This comprehensive range combines ease of use with the ultimate performance required for infection control applications.

By using ultraviolet light, you may kill 99.9% of bacteria, including polio, Hepatitis B, HIV-1 (AIDS virus), and Staphylococcus aureus (staph) in the water dispenser.

Using a combination of the UV-C and BLU-white lamp, release active oxygen and kill up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria. Three settings: Low power mode: The environment will be disinfected and release active oxygen automatically. Medium power mode: The environment will be disinfected and release active oxygen automatically. High power mode: The environment will be disinfected and release active oxygen automatically. Also can use as an air purifier.

Nu-Calgon Disinfectant is a fast-drying, ready-to-use, hospital-grade disinfectant in a convenient spray bottle. Use Nu-Calgon Disinfectant to decontaminate hard, nonporous surfaces that can be damaged by water.

The patented, effective UV-C technology in the Sterilight1 Sterilizer destroys viruses, bacteria, and mold—even resistant strains such as hepatitis B and C. Plus, its double-tube system makes the Sterilight1 a fast killer—killing at least 650 organisms per minute. Let this safe and effective light do the work to keep your kids healthy.


Disinfectants and sterilization are widely used in our daily life. Disinfectants are chemicals applied to non-living objects to eliminate dangerous microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and their spores. Disinfectants are different from other antimicrobial agents, in that they are designed to kill microorganisms on non-living objects. Sterilants are also biocides applied to objects to destroy all forms of life. However, sterilization is usually a much longer process than disinfection.